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3 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Boost Your Motivation in the Mornings

Finding it hard to locate that get-up-and-go spark in the mornings? Here are 3 tactics you can employ to boost that morning mood and improve the start of your workday everyday!

For those who have been working at 9-5 jobs for years, it is understandable that some work mornings might seem a little more lethargic than usual–especially after a late night out with friends. Even for newcomers, the initial thrill of work might gradually transition into mundane wake-up sessions. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in us calling-in sick, which could result in adverse consequences for both your career and life if done too often. In this article, we explore cost-effective, motivation-boosting methods that will help you tackle your uninspired mornings.

Motivation at a Glance

To address a lack of motivation, we first have to understand what motivation is. According to the Cambridge English dictionary, motivation is 'the enthusiasm/need or reason to do something'. Going to work is a need and a reason (extrinsic motivation) for us to earn money. It might not be fun, but its eventual rewards are something we crave or require. On a daily basis however, enthusiasm (intrinsic motivation) is key to having inspirations in the mornings to keep tackling the day with excitement. Moreover, an increase in motivation results in a host of benefits, including a better aptitude for learning and increased success.

Adopt Vibrant Healthy Morning Routines

A lack of enthusiasm in the mornings can be attributed to the dread of facing an overwhelming number of tasks that await you in the day. More than that unproductive morning routines such as snoozing and scrolling through social media will not contribute to personal growth. By engaging in a new healthy morning routine, you take your mind off stressful tasks that await while standing to benefit from both a positive uplift in mood as well as a progressively healthier body. Here are some examples:

1. Enrich Your Day by Preparing a Healthy Breakfast.

Healthy breakfasts need not cost much, nor do they necessarily taste bad. Furthermore, healthy breakfasts have been shown to increase cognitive performances and help burn more calories throughout the day. You can choose to include colourful fruits, nuts, yoghurts and even wholegrain cereals. What’s more, the costs of groceries need not be exorbitant if you employ the right credit cards, which can help reduce this cost by 5-10% through cashback rewards. Here are the costs of some healthy organic and non-organic items you can include in your breakfast.

Item (500g)Organic Cost (Open Taste)Non-Organic Cost (NTUC FairPrice)
Trail Mix$23.98$14.80

2. Boost your energy levels with fun morning exercise routines

Exercise has been proven to both increase cognitive ability as well as alleviate depression and anxiety. In fact, exercising on an empty stomach promotes an all-day body fat burn. Moreover, exercise does not have to cost much. Simple workout routines at home are completely free. For those who would like to invest more, getting a gym membership or even purchasing exercise equipment could also help mentally commit yourself to exercising regularly.

Type of EquipmentCost on Lazada
Pull-up Bars$16.90
Yoga Mat$23.90
Weight Bench$117.90
50kg Dumbbell and Barbell Set$148.90

Finally, studies have shown that as time progresses, routines progress into habits, making them easier to both begin and complete. This means that you continue reaping these healthy benefits with less effort than at the start while maintaining your increased morning motivation (health might even increase your motivation over time!).

Pick from a Range of Meditation Techniques

Stress, anxiety, depression, unclear sight of your goals and the inability to enjoy yourself in any current situation are major factors that lead to loss of motivation. Science has proven that meditation helps to curb all of this. So what kind of meditation should you practice? Here are some ideas:

1. Goal-Visualisation Meditation

This meditation hinges on extrinsic motivation. Direct your thoughts solely on your long-term goals and the benefits that they bring. You will observe both an increase in motivation and focus–making the pain of going through any obstacles to achieve your goals seem more justified. More so, this helps to reduce redundant goals while creating achievable and self-inspired ones.

2. Inward Mindfulness Meditation

As opposed to thinking about the future, mindfulness meditation employs focusing on the now. Pay attention to any current emotions and gradually the level of happiness and motivation that you are feeling. Understanding the things that affect you will help sift out unwanted negativities like anxiety, stress and depression. It can also trigger new and creative solutions to deal with them while appreciating the things that motivate and make you happy.

Employ Technology - Wisely!

Technology is both a boon and a bane when it comes to boosting morning motivation. For example, receiving negative/stressful notifications on your phone in the morning could reduce any enthusiasm you have of tackling the day. On the flip side, certain phone applications can greatly boost both productivity and motivation in the mornings. Here are some of them:

1. Wakie Community

This application acts as a substitute for alarm clocks. Unlike standard morning alarms however, this free app employs a literal wake-up call strategy. Real people from around the world will ring you at your desired wake-up time – making it both a fun way to rise out of bed and a positive morning motivational boost.

2. Spotify/Apple Music

Music has been proven to increase dopamine in the brain, and thus bolster positive emotions like enthusiasm and joy. By popping on your favorite genre of music, you can even reduce stress levels. A wide range of music tracks can be found on Spotify and Apple Music – their individual premium versions cost $9.99 and $9.98 (SGD per month) respectively. Even better, some credit cards–like OCBC 90°N–offer high rewards rates for spend with streaming companies like Spotify.

3. Habitica

Admittedly, some mornings might be a tad rush for goal-visualisations. Apps like Habitica help keep track of your goals. What’s more, this application gamifies your goals/tasks, providing an added incentive for working towards/completing them.

Duckju Kang

Duckju (DJ) is the founder and CEO of ValueChampion. He covers the financial services industry, consumer finance products, budgeting and investing. He previously worked at hedge funds such as Tiger Asia and Cadian Capital. He graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with honors, Magna Cum Laude. His work has been featured on major international media such as CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, the Straits Times, Today and more.

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